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Iceland Joins Kyoto Extension, With A Twist

Published December 10, 2012

Iceland has agreed to take part in the extension of the Kyoto Protocol, while granting itself exceptions for greenhouse gas emissions made by heavy industry.
The Kyoto Protocol seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world, although it has had varying levels of support. While the US, Russia and China have been reluctant to fully ratify their participation, other nations have been more willing to abide it. Last Saturday, nearly 200 countries agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol, AP reports.
Iceland is among those countries. According to a statement from The Icelandic Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources, Iceland has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020. This it plans to do by reducing emissions in transportation, agriculture, some aspects of the fishing industry, energy production and waste disposal by 16%, as well as by initiating reforestation, land reclamation, and restoring wetlands.
However, some exceptions are being granted. Emissions from aluminium smelters, metal alloys production, oil exploration, airplanes and some aspects of the fishing industry will not be counted among the country’s total emissions. These industries will instead be allowed to purchase “emission quotas“.
At the same time, RÚV reports that a study done in Iceland indicated that emissions from heavy industry are expected to increase from 2005 to 2020 by 115% to 261%.



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PM Baffled By Union Criticism

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Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson told parliament he was very surprised by the harsh criticisms the proposed budget has received from labour unions. RÚV reports that Social Democrat MP Árni Páll Árnason asked the Prime Minister what his response was to yesterday’s statement from the Confederation of Icelandic Labour Unions (ASÍ) on the proposed 2015 budget. The Prime Minister said the response surprised him and “came out of nowhere”. He contends that the proposed budget was crafted with the aim of helping Icelandic households, adding that the response was especially surprising “considering ASÍ president [Gylfi Arnbjörnsson] expressed great displeasure throughout

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Foreign Minister Unsure About Sanctions Against Israel

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told parliament that he was unsure whether now is the time to engage in sanctions against Israel. MBL reports that the Minister, responding to a question from Social Democrat MP (and former Foreign Minister) Össur Skarphéðinsson on whether or not Iceland should start sanctions or embargos against Israel, was hesitant at best about the idea. “Regarding whether the time has come to initiate sanctions or an embargo against Israel, I am not sure if this is the right thing to do at this stage,” he said. “I’m not sure about that.” However, the

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Sulphur Dioxide Cloud Moving West And South

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The cloud of SO2 emanating from the Holuhraun eruption is moving both further west and further south. The Icelandic Met Office reports that the SO2 from the Holuhraun eruption has already spread over a large portion of the country. Currently, it covers a large portion of central Iceland, extending northwest to Blönduós and east across northern Vatnajökull. Tomorrow, however, the distribution of SO2 is forecast to look a lot like the above illustration. As can be seen, the SO2 is spreading, and extending further south and west, and reaching the southeast coast. However, bear in mind that SO2 levels are

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Student Loans Beyond The Grave

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Vísir reports that the heirs of a man who died 27 years ago —his grandchildren, more precisely— are now being charged, for a student loan that the man’s stepson took, and for which the now deceased man then signed as guarantor. The Ghost of Systems Past In recent years, some changes have been made to the Icelandic student loan system. Most notably, in 2009, the left-left Alþingi majority abolished the requirement of a third party guarantor. Until then, the requirement meant that a prospectful student needed the signature of someone with a clean financial record, who thereby assumed responsibility in

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Motion To Subtitle All Icelandic Content

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Several members of parliament have table a motion to introduce subtitles on all visual media content, reports Vísir. Currently it is only compulsory to subtitle foreign language content in Iceland but the MP’s believe that all content, including Icelandic news, films and television programmes should be subtitled as well. The motion has been put together by MP’s from 3 different parties and aims to enhance media services for the deaf and hard of hearing. Additionally, the motion argues the subtitles would help foreigners and new residents learn Icelandic. This is the second time this motion has been put to Iceland’s

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Malaysian Airlines Did Not Fly Over Holuhraun

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Malaysian Airlines have slammed a satirical article claiming that one of their flights was forced to make an emergency landing after flying over the Holuhraun eruption, reports RÚV. On Monday, satirical news site, World News Daily Report, published a fake article claiming that Malaysia Airlines flight MH131 was forced to make an emergency landing in Iceland after the plane’s navigation systems were damaged by heat and debris from the eruption. The article added that the pilots of the Boeing 777 aircraft were instructed to fly almost directly over the volcano despite warnings from the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Malaysia Airlines,

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